With newborns on the way, parents need estate planning in order to provide future security for themselves and their children. In Colorado, estate planning ensures that your children have a clear path toward a full life when you’re not around to help them. Planning your estate now, however, also accounts for how much of you your children can enjoy while you’re alive.
Powers of attorney
A power of attorney is the authorization you give a person to handle your finances and affairs if you’re incapable of such yourself. In some cases, a power of attorney is needed throughout each day of the year. In other cases, a POA only comes into play as a result of specific events. Powers of attorney are ideal when you’re medically incapacitated. Children can be legally given the authority to administer your care when you can’t make decisions or take action.
Before your death or incapacitation, you can name guardians over your children. The younger your children are, the more they’ll benefit from having a guardian that you specifically name. Your estate planning to include a guardian now gives you the chance to pick close friends, family members, a professional trustee or a financial institution. Just keep in mind that local courts can assign anyone as a guardian if you haven’t. Here’s what your guardian has:
- The right to decide on the medical treatments of your children
- The freedom to choose how your children are raised or disciplined
- The personal responsibility to give your children public or private schooling
- The financial responsibility to feed, clothe and house your children
Assigning an executor
At your death, your estate must be administered. This process includes disbursement of assets, paying debts and selling property. The person who takes these steps for you is called an executor. This person is assigned by a public court if you don’t decide on who now. Estate planning in Colorado prepares your children for a future when you’re not here to give them one.